The Q&A Archives: Preparing Strawberries for Winter

Question: Should I cut back my strawberry plants before I put on a layer of straw mulch for the winter?

Answer: No, it's best to leave the leaves in place. Mowing can stimulate new growth which is more succeptible to frost damage. Let the ground freeze hard before mulching the patch with straw, leaves or covering with a fabric row cover. This will prevent heaving of the soil during warm/cold cycles of winter. If you want to renovate the patch, you can mow the tops after spring harvest. This will stimulate a bunch of new runners, and you can set them to replace your older plants.

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